cheap ugg boots 29 charged in one of the largest counterfeit goods smuggling rings ever busted in the U
NEWARK The stacks of containers shipped from China to the Port Newark Elizabeth Marine Terminal were stuffed with Ugg boots and Nike Air Jordans, Burberry and Coach handbags and Juicy Couture threads.
Comfy, shiny, flashy and all fake.
The items flowed through a frenetic hub, the busiest container port on the East Coast, a place officials say moves 2.5 million containers a year. Certain goods would find their way into the hands of “processors” perpetrators who did things like ripping labels from boots so they could affix phony brand names.
In their place, the criminals would put on new treads, so wearers staring down in the snow could behold the “Ugg Australia” insignia, written in their white footprints. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said counterfeiters worldwide haul in tens of billions of dollars a year.
“This is one of the largest counterfeit goods cases ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,” an energetic looking Fishman said with pride today to a roomful of reporters. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with the help of the federal Customs and Border Protection agency, led to the arrests of 23 people within the past two weeks. Six suspects remain at large. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, on March 2nd, 2012 announces the massive bust. citizens, Fishman noted.
Fishman said legitimate companies, which “go to great lengths” to establish their brands, lose billions of dollars to counterfeiters. In addition, he said, the “threat of piracy is not just a threat to (consumer) confidence, but also to innovations; and it destroys jobs.”
Another federal official, Robert Perez,
a Customs and Border Protection director in the New York field office, said that “in its worst form” counterfeiting can represent a “legitimate health and safety hazard” for users of the products.
Patrick Siu, 39, of Richardson, Texas, is charged as the lead defendant in a complaint alleging he and associates smuggled in $300 million worth of counterfeit goods of various brands. In that case, prosecutors say, goods entered the New Jersey port in containers associated with legitimate importers. In addition, they concealed goods, sometimes using generic outer lids and generic labels to hide the bogus brand name tags beneath. Once products cleared the port, conspirators would open the containers and cut off the generic labels, they said.
In another complaint, Ning Guo, 38, of China, also known as “The Beijing Kid,” is the lead defendant in a document alleging he helped import more than $25 million worth of items while using a front company set up by undercover agents.
Many defendants are charged with multiple counterfeit goods conspiracy counts, each of which carries a maximum of 10 years if convicted.
Prosecutors allege defendants Hai Yan Jiang, 32, and Lin Wu, 43, talked about importing fake cosmetics.